Comparing the 30 Ballon d’Or nominees: Messi, Kante, Lewy…

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PSG star Lionel Messi

After a year off, the Ballon d’Or is back and there are some outstanding players in contention for the 2021 award. But which of the 30 nominees is most deserving?

We’ve put together a round-up of all of the players that could potentially be awarded France Football’s award – the most prestigious individual accolade in football. Here’s what they’ve all achieved in terms of trophies and honours since 2020.

For forwards, attacking midfielders and playmakers, we’ve included the total number of goals and assists since the beginning of last season.

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
– Captain for the Champions League winners
– UEFA Super Cup winner
– Finished fourth in the Premier League

Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)
– Serie A winner
– Euro 2020 winner
– Four goals and 19 assists for Inter since the start of the 2020-21 season

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
– Currently leads Europe’s major leagues for both goals and assists in 2021-22
– 40 goals and 16 assists for Real Madrid since the start of the 2020-21 season. Five goals in 10 appearances for France.
– Nations League final to come

Real Madrid and France striker Karim Benzema

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Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
– Euro 2020 winner
– Man of the Match in the Euro 2020 final
– Euro 2020 Team of the Tournament

Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
– Premier League & Carabao Cup winner
– Champions League runner-up
– 12 goals and 18 assists for Man City since the start of the 2020-21 season

Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
– Captain for the Euro 2020 winners

Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
– Coppa Italia winner
– Euro 2020 Golden Boot winner
– Top Scorer in Serie A in 2020-21 (29 goals)
– 41 goals and 46 assists for Juventus and Manchester United since the start of 2020-21
– Became the all-time international goalscorer. Nine goals in 10 appearances for Portugal in 2021

Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
– Premier League & Carabao Cup winner
– Champions League runner-up
– Premier League Player of the Season
– Champions League Defender of the Season

Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain)
– Euro 2020 winner
– Player of the tournament at Euro 2020

Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
– Europa League runner-up
– 32 goals and 20 assists since the start of the 2020-21 season


Phil Foden (Manchester City)
– Premier League & Carabao Cup winner
– Champions League runner-up
– Euro 2020 runner-up
– 18 goals and 12 assists since the start of the 2020-21 season

Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
– DFB Pokal winner
– 54 goals and 16 assists since the start of the 2020-21 season
– Champions League Forward of the Season

Jorginho (Chelsea)
– Euro 2020 winner
– Champions League winner
– UEFA Super Cup winner
– UEFA Men’s Player of the Year 2020-21
– Euro 2020 Team of the Tournament

Harry Kane (Tottenham)
– Euro 2020 runner-up
– Premier League Golden Boot winner 2020-21 (also top assister)
– 39 goals and 17 assists since the start of the 2020-21 season

N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
– Champions League winner
– UEFA Super Cup winner
– Champions League Midfielder of the Season
– Man of the Match in the Champions League final
– Nations League final to come

Simon Kjaer (AC Milan)
– Denmark captain in run to Euro 2020 semi-final
– Serie A runner-up with AC Milan

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
– Bundesliga winners
– Bundesliga top scorer and European Golden Shoe winner 2020-21 (41 goals)
– Broke Gerd Muller’s 49-year record for most goals in a Bundesliga season
– 61 goals and nine assists since the start of the 2020-21 season
– 31 league goals in 2021 – seven more than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues
*- Treble winner with 55 goals during 2019-20 season (2020 Ballon d’Or cancelled)

Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring against RB Leipzig READ: The top 10 scorers in Europe’s big five leagues in 2021: Lewandowski, Messi…

Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)
– Serie A winner
– Serie A Most Valuable Player 2020-21
– Euro 2020 Team of the Tournament
– 34 goals and 10 assists since the start of the 2020-21 season

Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
– Premier League & Carabao Cup winner
– Champions League runner-up
– 18 goals and 11 assists since the start of the 2020-21 season

Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
– Serie A winner
– Copa America winner
– 24 goals and 11 assists since the start of the 2020-21 season

Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
– Coupe de France winner
– Ligue 1 top scorer 2020-21 (27 goals)
– 46 goals and 16 assists since the start of the 2020-21 season
– Nations League final to come

Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)
– Copa del Rey winner (Argentina captain)
– Copa America winner
– Top scorer and top assister at the Copa America
– Copa America Player of the Tournament
– La Liga top scorer (30 goals)
– 39 goals and 14 assists since the start of the 2020-21 season

Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
– Six goals and seven assists since the start of the 2020-21 season|
– Real Madrid Player of the Season 2020-21

Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)
– Europa League winner
– Europa League joint top scorer
– Europa League joint top assister
– 31 goals and 11 assists since the start of the 2020-21 season

Mason Mount (Chelsea)
– Champions League winner
– UEFA Super Cup winner
– Euro 2020 runner-up
– Nine goals and 10 assists since the start of the 2020-21 season
– Chelsea Player of the Year

Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)
– Coupe de France winner
– Copa America runner-up
– Copa America Team of the Tournament
– 18 goals and 13 assists since the start of the 2020-21 season

Pedri (Barcelona)
– Copa del Rey winner
– Euro 2020 Team of the Tournament
– Euro 2020 Young Player of the Tournament
– Olympic Silver medallist
– Four goals and seven assists since the start of the 2020-21 season
– Nations League final to come

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
– 40 goals and nine assists since the start of the 2020-21 season

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah

 READ: ‘Best in the world’: Carra, Owen & more react to Salah display vs City

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
– Premier League & Carabao Cup winner
– Champions League runner-up
– Euro 2020 runner-up
– Euro 2020 Team of the tournament
– 15 goals and 13 assists since the start of the 2020-21 season

Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)
– La Liga winner
– 26 goals and four assists since the start of the 2020-21 season


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